Technological change now outranks all other external factors – even market forces and the economy – as the top thing impacting organisations over the next three to five years, according to IBM’s Tech Trend Report 2012.
The four pivotal information technologies that are reshaping how enterprises operate are mobile, business analytics, cloud computing and social business.
The third annual IBM survey of more than 1,200 professionals who make technology decisions for their organisations was complemented by responses from more than 250 academics and 450 students. Both were conducted across 13 countries, spanning both mature and growth markets.
17 per cent of the companies surveyed had made a significant deployment of mobile technologies, 32 per cent had made limited deployments. Mobile ranked behind business analytics as the most widely adopted of the four key technologies.
69 per cent of companies expected to increase investment in mobile over the next two years – 34 per cent will increase budgets between one and nine per cent. 35 per cent will increase by 10 per cent or more. This represents the largest expected increase of all the technologies covered in the report.
Just one in 10 of the companies said they had the skills needed to be successful in the future but the problem is more acute in mature markets.
Despite slower adoption of mobile in emerging markets, only 15 per cent of businesses here reported a major skills gap in this area, compared with 29 per cent in developed nations.
73 per cent of the students and educators reported a major gap in the ability to meet the skills needs of the IT workforce.
Pacesetters reign in growth markets
There are a higher number of ‘pacesetter’ companies, as opposed to ‘followers’ or ‘dabblers’ in new technologies, in growing markets compared to mature markets. The report said that these companies are more driven, analytical and experimental.
66 per cent of pacesetters said that the adoption of mobile tech came as a response to customer or partner demand. 52 per cent said it was to increase customer reach and 43 per cent said it gave them differentiation from their competitors.
70 per cent of pacesetters are building mobile integration, mobile security and privacy – as well as mobile app architecture, design and development. Dabblers lag considerably on mobile app development, according to the report.